Journey beginning at Helsinki, Finland tours and ending at Bergen, Norway tours
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Chase the Northern Lights in some of the most magical destinations in Scandinavia and the Nordics. For 14 days experience untouched wilderness, the home of Santa Claus, Rovaniemi, and tour Helsinki and Bergen. There will be unforgettable experiences, from a night in a glass igloo where you may be able to marvel at the northern lights from the comfort of your bed to exhilarating huskie experiences.
Day 1 – Arrive Helsinki
Arrive in Helsinki and make your own way to the hotel and check-in. Meet with your tour manager and afterwards, enjoy a welcome dinner with the group.
Day 2 – Helsinki to Rovaniemi
After breakfast at the hotel we have a sightseeing tour of Helsinki. Our city tour includes the Senate Square, the University and the Lutheran Cathedral. We will also see the colourful Market Square, Kaivopuisto Park, diplomatic residences, the imposing statue of Marshall Mannerheim, the Parliament Building, Finlandia Hall, the Orthodox Russian Church, Uspenski, and the Sibelius Monument, plus a visit to Temppeliaukio Church – also known as the ‘Rock Church’, as it is carved into solid rock.
In the afternoon, transfer to the airport for an afternoon flight to Rovaniemi. Upon arriving to Rovaniemi, a transfer will take us to the hotel where we have the rest of the afternoon at leisure or enjoy an optional evening Northern Lights excursion.
Day 3 – Visit Santa Claus himself in Rovaniemi
We visit the home of Santa Claus today, visiting the world-famous Santa Claus Village. Apart from meeting Santa himself, you will get opportunity to get up close and personal with his reindeer on a sleigh experience you won’t forget.
Day 4 – Rovaniemi to Saariselkä – stay in the Northern Lights Village
We journey up to Saariselkä where we will arrive at Northern Lights Village where we will check into our glass igloos. These cabins are a magical way to experience the wintry star-filled sky and the Northern Lights, while lying comfortably in the warm bed. The laser-heated glass-roof opens up into the Northern sky.
Day 5 – Saariselkä to Kirkenes
Further north up to Kirkenes, a 3-4 hour drive via Inari. On the way we will learn about Sami culture as we visit the Sami Siida museum dedicated to their culture.
On arrival in Kirkenes, settle into your cabin and head out for some exploring. You can add optional experiences such as king crab safaris during your stay here.
Day 6 – Husky Riding in Sandnesdalen
Another highlight as we go on a husky ride (2 hours) through scenic Sandnesdalen. As opposed to the pine forests of Rovaniemi and Finnish Lapland, in Kirkenes you find the sparse and majestic arctic landscapes, with mountain plateaus, white tundra and long fjords, which are typical of Finnmark and Northern Norway. There is hot drink served en route.
Dinner at Kirkenes Snow Hotel. Evening at your leisure.
Day 7 – Hurtigruten southbound voyage
In the mid-morning you will be transferred from the hotel to the Hurtigruten Terminal. We then start our voyage south along the Norwegian coast with Hurtigruten. As the ship starts its voyage south, you can first enjoy lunch then head up to the panorama lounge to enjoy the views of the surrounding Arctic landscape or venture on deck.
In the afternoon, the ship again docks at Vardø, Norway’s easternmost port. Continuing south, we cruise along the Varanger peninsula to Båtsfjord, before reaching Berlevåg in the evening.
Day 8 – Welcome to the extreme North – Hammerfest and Tromsø
In the middle of the night, dock at Mehamn, where it is possible to join an unforgettable snowmobile trip through one of Europe’s most extreme and exciting natural areas during winter time. Experience snow-clad valleys, fresh winter air and perhaps the mesmerising Northern Lights in the clear, starry sky.
At Honningsvåg you can join an excursion that features breakfast at North Cape. Before stopping in Hammerfest, you can enjoy an ‘energy coffee’ and short introduction to Melkøya – the world´s northernmost natural gas terminal’. Hammerfest was founded in 1789, and over time became Norway’s polar capital, serving as a base for hunting expeditions into the High Arctic. Here you can see the UNESCO-listed Meridian Column, erected in 1854 to commemorate the first precise geographic measurement of the globe. In winter, you can also join a mini-mountain expedition to experience the Arctic outdoors and learn about local polar hero and cook, Adolf Henrik Lindstrøm.
We continue south to Øksfjord. After crossing open water, we make a brief stop at the old trading post of Skjervøy. In spring, we sail through the beautiful Lyngenfjord, surrounded by the snowy peaks of the Lyngen Alps: Here, you might get a taste of fresh locally-caught prawns.
We then dock at Tromsø, just in time to enjoy a magical midnight concert at the Arctic Cathedral.
Optional Excursions: 8B – THE NORTHERNMOST TOWN IN THE WORLD, 8H – INTO THE ICE, 8C – A MIDNIGHT CONCERT IN THE ARCTIC CATHEDRAL and 8F – SNOWMOBILE TRIP IN THE POLAR NIGHT.
Day 9 – Lofoten and the Vesterålen Islands, majestic peaks and crystal clear waters
The daylight sailing through the Lofoten Islands is a highlight for many Hurtigruten guests. The Lofoten region is renowned for its natural beauty with steep mountains, wild nature and small, picturesque fishing villages.
Before you reach them, you pass through Risøyrenna, a channel that was specially constructed for Hurtigruten, providing the vessels an ‘inside route’ between Harstad and Sortland. Risøyhamn is a small village with only 200 inhabitants and the ship stops here briefly to deliver groceries and mail. You then continue onto Stokmarknes, where Hurtigruten was founded, is the location of the Hurtigruten Museum.
Continuing south it looks as if you are sailing straight through the mountain wall but you wail through an opening in the narrow Raftsund, the picturesque narrow channel between the Vesterålen and Lofoten Islands, where, time and weather permitting, you’ll take a detour into the spectacular Trollfjord where steep cliffs hug the ship’s sides, home to the majestic sea eagles.
Then it’s on to Svolvær, the main settlement on the Lofoten Islands followed by Stamsund where the majestic peaks of the huge Lofoten Wall can be viewed. You leave the islands during the evening and set course for the mainland.
Optional Excursions: 9A – A TASTE OF VESTERÅLEN and 9D – LOFOTEN BY HORSE.
Day 10 – Bodø and The Vega Archipelago, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Crossing the Arctic Circle at 66°33’N is an important ‘rite of passage’. Today we celebrate the event out on deck with a `taste´ of Arctic tradition – a spoonful of cod liver oil. As we sail along the Helgeland coast, you pass hundreds of islets, fertile farmland and steep granite walls rich in local lore. On deck you can see the strange mountain Torghatten (rising 258 m above sea level), famous for its distinctive hole right through the middle. The hole is 160 m long, 35 m high and 20 m wide, and was created during the ice age.
Another highlight is sailing past the Seven Sisters mountain range. All seven mountains are between 900 and 1,100 m high, and it is easy to understand how these ‘ladies’ influenced ancient myths. The story goes that there were seven troll sisters, the daughters of King Sulis, who kept them under strict control. One night, when the king fell into a deep sleep, the seven maidens sneaked out. Vågekallen, who was eager for a wife, was lying in wait. He pursued the sisters, who fled southwards down the coast. Several other trolls joined the chase to either capture or rescue them. When night turned to morning, the troll sisters and their pursuers were petrified as the sun turns all trolls to stone. They all became the rocks and mountains that today make the Helgeland coastline one of the most beautiful places on earth.
Next we make a short stop at Nesna, an idyllic old trading post before moving on to Sandnessjøen. The UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Vega Islands is close to Sandnessjøen. This unique cultural landscape consists of dozens of islands. The UNESCO designation was awarded due to the unique interaction between the eider duck and island population.
Day 11 – The medieval city of Trondheim and the Atlantic Road
Today you have a chance to explore the wooden city of history: Trondheim. Be sure to visit the majestic Nidaros Cathedral, built over the burial site of King Olav II who reigned from 1015 to 1028. Back on board, the ship heads out into the majestic Trondheimsfjord, which is 170 km long and up to 25 km wide. Like all other Norwegian fjords, it is deep, plunging to 577 m.
As we sail along the coast, you realise the importance of fish to Norwegian coastal communities. Kristiansund’s location has steadily provided the town with a wealth of opportunities in the fishing, shipbuilding and oil industries. Kristiansund is today regarded as Norway’s ‘dried cod capital’ because of its long-time export of salted dry fish. Here you can join an excursion to the renowned Atlantic Road, one of Norway’s most visited tourist destinations. It is 8.2 km long, built on a total of eight bridges and surrounded by picturesque landscapes and open sea.
Another interesting excursion is to the Bergtatt marble mine, which includes entering a mountain and sailing across an illuminated subterranean lake, before enjoying a meal in the mine´s ‘Grand Hall’. Those choosing to stay on board at Kristiansund will experience the ship´s crossing the open sea on our way to Molde, known as Norway´s ‘City of Roses’. Along the way you see see the steep, grey, pointed peaks of the Romsdal Alps.
Optional Excursions: 11A – TRONDHEIM & NIDAROS CATHEDRAL and 11E – BERGTATT – MAGNIFICENT MARBLE MINE.
Day 12 – Travel to Bergen via massive Glacier watching.
During the night, the ship calleds at Ålesund, Torvik & Måløy, as the world’s most beautiful voyage draws to an end.
Today, your Hurtigruten voyage will come to an end when you arrive in the City of Seven Mountains, Bergen. But before that, you still have a few nautical miles of fascinating scenery ahead of you such as the picturesque Nordfjord below the enormous Jostedalsbreen glacier, Norway’s longest fjord – the mighty Sognefjord and the picturesque Bergen Archipelago. Take home your memories of the world’s most beautiful voyage and the many seafaring companions and friends you’ve made along the way.
Day 13 – Day tour in Bergen and then an unforgettable farewell dinner on an island
After breakfast, enjoy a three-hour sightseeing tour of Bergen. Tonight, we enjoy a farewell dinner at the very special Cornelius Restaurant.
Day 14 – Farewell from Bergen
Our tour ends after breakfast.
• 5 nights in 4* hotels in central locations, 1 night at Aurora Cabin / Glass Igloo, 2 nights at Gamme Cabins and 5 nights cruise accommodation in an outside cabin on the Hurtigruten
• Daily breakfasts, 7 lunches, 9 dinners
• Porterage service in & out of all hotels
• The long-distance bus from day 3 – 5 offers Wi-Fi
• English speaking Tour Director, who is an expert in the destination
• English speaking local guide for city tours in Helsinki & Bergen
• All tours and transportation as mentioned in the itinerary
• Visits, excursions and entrances as mentioned in the itinerary
• Entrances as mentioned in the itinerary
• Flight from Helsinki to Rovaniemi
• Outdoor clothing for winter activities/safaris as mentioned in the itinerary
International flight tickets, Hurtigruten optional excursions, any airport taxes, travel insurance, visas, gratitudes and any items of personal nature.
To find out more or to book this incredible tour, contact Globetrotter Lifestyle today!